As the winter season approaches, pay close attention to the ways the changes in the weather affect the skin.
During the dry and cold months of winter, the skin loses moisture faster and becomes drier as the air changes. We tend to spend more time in hot showers and have our heaters on higher temperatures in the colder months, which strips the skin of its natural oils. Additionally, the environmental changes of winter impact the physiology of the skin as the skin barrier becomes compromised due to the introduction of dry and cold air.
Moisturizing during winter is the skin’s best friend. To maximize moisturizing:
• Install a humidifier indoors to balance out the moisture levels of your rooms, which will leave your skin more hydrated.
• Clean with skincare cleansing agents that are either oil-based or creamy – they are highly effective because they do not strip away the natural oils on the skin.
• Exfoliate dry skin very lightly with a polyhydroxy acid (PHA). Use it not more than once a week as an excellent and nurturing ritual. One of my favorite PHA products is AWAKEN, an anti-oxidant by CosMedix, which has a high level of actin.
• Generously apply daily moisturizers that are a bit thicker if you have super-dry skin; use ones that contain natural moisturizing factor ceramides and hyaluronic acid. These active ingredients keep the natural barrier of the skin intact and prevent excessive dryness. As
a reminder, the hands, neck and décolleté have fewer oil glands, so remember to moisturize them properly right after washing.
• Apply a moisturizing, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF level of 15 or higher before going outdoors. It is as important to use sunscreen on all uncovered skin areas in the winter months as it is in the summer.
• Introduce Collagen Induction Therapy to your bimonthly skincare routine to stimulate cell turnover and protein synthesis. Add metabolic peels such as a Timeless Peel or a Deep-Sea Peel, which stimulate skin renewal and leave you with a soft and luminous complexion.
Additionally, we can help the skin by nourishing our bodies with foods rich in vitamins A and C, as they build, repair and strengthen the collagen fibers, leaving us with firmer, glowing skin. These vitamins are available in carrots, which incidentally have been found to have a higher absorption rate when cooked than when eaten raw. Green, leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach are rich in vitamin K and loaded with anti-inflammatory properties that help with any redness and inflammation affecting the skin.
Treat yourself to some decadent dark chocolate or a handful of blueberries, blackberries or cranberries, as they are loaded with bioflavonoids that fight UV damage and combat free radical damage.
An amazing skin and body detoxifier can be found in beet roots, and drinking several cups of green tea along with eight to 10 glasses of filtered water will leave you hydrated.
And don’t forget the heart-healthy fats from salmon, chia seeds, avocados and almonds, which will keep the skin soft and supple all year-round.
Los Altos resident Marjan Kashi is a licensed medical esthetician, electrologist and the founder of Pure Serenity Skincare, located at Rancho Shopping Center. For more information, call (650) 999-7873 or visit pureserenityskincare.com.